Help Save EC Map and our Kids!

ECMap_LogoCol_FINALAs you have likely heard, I have recently become involved in the tail end of the work that is being done in our province through the vehicle that is EC Map. I became involved because the work they have done in the last 5 years is vital. It is vital to the long term health and wellbeing of our children, and to the future of our province!  I am very disheartened and angered to hear that despite all the amazing work that has been done by this project, the work will not be going forward.

I fear that by wrapping up and closing down EC Map, our government has just wasted millions of dollars in the last 5 years gathering this information. If we do not DO something with this information, and make the healthy brain development of children in their first 2000 days a priority, all the work seems for naught.

Through our work at Dayhome Registry, in the childcare industry, it has become very apparent to us that the family dayhome childcare system is struggling. Many dayhome providers cannot work with the agencies because the accreditation process is stifling (and is getting increasingly more difficult) or the agencies refuse to work with them (if they only have a level 1 certification, for example).  As a result, they choose to run privately. While everyone has the best of intentions, this disconnect in the system leaves our kids at risk, and leaves our dayhome providers without support or guidance. Because they are not approved through an agency, they do not qualify for subsidy, which means they cannot offer their care services to parents who are in the low income brackets. Either that or, in order for parents to afford them, they make their childcare rates so low that they are not making enough income in their dayhome to provide properly for their own family.

We, here at Dayhome Registry, have been building our business to provide support and resources for these private dayhomes. However, we are but a tiny grain of sand. We truly believe that childcare providers should ALL be approved in some regard (the sole avenue only being approved if they are accredited through an agency no longer works) to ensure that all the children in their care are receiving quality care.  Through Dayhome Registry, we have been actively spreading the word about the work that EC Map has done, the results of the study, and what the next steps might be.

But now, I am concerned that the ability to take effective next steps is being taken away. Now that we have all the data about how children in this province are doing (and as you well know, it is not well!), we are choosing to do nothing? We are choosing to allow the community coalitions to run without a central core helping them do the amazing work they are trying so hard to do? We are choosing to allow families and childcare providers to flounder without the help and support they so desperately need? In a province as wealthy and privileged as Alberta, by closing down EC Map and not allowing them a funded and powerful vehicle to take the next steps, our Government is effectively saying they do not care about the healthy development of our children. 

I urge you to write letters to the gov’t regarding the dissolution of the EC Map project and to support those that are attempting to make a difference in our children’s lives. Make your voice heard. Be a Champion for Children.

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